The Common Map Turtle might look like the Painted Turtle from far away as it does have bright yellow lines on its body as well. When you look closer you will see they are quite different. The patterns on its shell look like the lines on a topographic map.
The Common Map Turtle’s females shell can grow up to 27 cm in length, which is twice as big as the males shell, only 13 cm in length. The female also have much stronger jaws that allow them to crunch on snails, clams and crayfish. The males will eat more insects than hard shell food.
Life in the Marsh
Unfortunately, no map turtles have even been sighted in the marsh. They live mainly in southeastern Ontario and southern Quebec, and one of the two main populations of this species in Quebec is located on the Ottawa River.
Protection and Threats
Motorboats can be very dangerous for the turtles. They can get caught in hooks or even in the blades on a motor. On land, cars and roadways are a major threat when the turtle is making journeys to breed. Being careful on the roads and avoiding touching turtles keeps them healthy and safe.